Policies

Privacy Policy

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is a data controller in terms of the Data Protection Act. We collect process and store a wide range of information, including personal information to deliver our services efficiently.

We are responsible for managing the information that we hold and we recognise that this information is important to you. We take our responsibilities seriously and use personal information fairly, correctly and safely in line with the UK’s data protection laws.

Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal obligation to do the same and will have a set of data protection clauses included in any contract with us.

Where we need to share sensitive or confidential information, we will do so only with your consent, or where we are legally able to do so.

Why we need to collect information about you

We collect and process various categories of personal information at the start of, and for the duration of your relationship with us. We will limit the collection and processing of information to what is necessary to achieve one or more legitimate purposes as identified in this notice.

We will use your personal information for a limited number of purposes and always in line with our responsibilities, and where reasonable your wishes, where there is a legal basis to use your personal information and in relation to your rights.

We process personal information:

  • For the purpose for which you provided the information, e.g. services we have provided in relation to transport, public service reform, productivity & skills, housing & regeneration, health & wellbeing or the environment;
  • To enable us to communicate with you and for the provision of services to you;
  • To monitor our performance in providing services to you, to gather statistical information to allow us to plan future provision of services to and to obtain your opinion about our services;
  • To meet various legal requirements;
  • For the prevention and/or detection of crime;
  • To process financial transactions including grants, payments and benefits directly involving us or where we are acting on behalf of other government bodies such as Department for Work and Pensions;
  • For general processing where you have given your consent for us to do so;
  • Where it is permitted under the Data Protection Act, for example, to comply with legal obligations, or for us to seek legal advice or undertake legal proceedings;
  • For marketing purposes to keep you updated on the latest news and services;
  • To inform you of network disruption.

We may not be able to provide you with a service if we do not have enough information and, in some instances, your consent to use that information.

We aim to keep your information accurate and up to date. You can help us to do this by letting us know if any of the information you have given us, such as your address changes. Our contact details can be found later in this document.

Schedule A, below explains the lawful basis we process your information.

Ways in which we collect your information

Face to Face.
We may keep a record of your visit to us to assist us in the delivery and improvement of the services that we provide to you and to others. Any such records that include personal information will be kept securely.

Telephone calls.
Ordinarily we will inform you if we record or monitor any telephone calls you make to us. We may do this to increase your security; so that we have a record of a call taking place and/or for training and quality purposes.

Emails.
If you email us, we may keep your email as record that you have made contact. This includes your email address. We will not include any personal or otherwise confidential information in any email we send to you unless it is sent securely or you have agreed to us contacting you with this information. We would also recommend that you keep the amount of personal or confidential information you send to us via email to a minimum.

Online

  • Cookies – Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by some websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or to make them work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site. Details about how we use Cookies can be found in our Privacy & Cookies Notice.
  • Other websites – On our website you may find links to other external websites which we have provided for your information and convenience. This privacy notice applies solely to the West Midlands Combined Authority. We are not responsible for the content of those sites. When you visit other websites, we recommend that you take time to read their own privacy notices. Our websites, for example by way of data capture forms.

What we will do with your information

When deciding what personal information to collect, use and hold, we are committed to making sure that we:

  • Only collect, hold and use personal information where it is necessary and fair to do so;
  • Keep your personal information secure and safe;
  • Securely dispose of any personal information when it is no longer needed;
  • Be open with you about how we use your information and who we share it with; and
  • Adopt and maintain high standards in handling any personal information

We may disclose personal information to a third party, but only where it is required by law, where that third party needs that information to provide you with a service on our behalf or where it is otherwise allowed under the Data Protection Act. We will strive to make sure that the third party has sufficiently robust system and procedures in place to protect your personal information.

How long we will hold your information

By providing you with a service, we create records that contain information. We manage our records to help us provide a service to you. The retention periods we will hold records are determined based on the type of record, the nature of the activity, product or service. We will not retain records for any longer than necessary, or as required by law.

When we dispose of personal information, we will do so in a secure way.

Who we may share your information with

We will not share your information with anyone outside of the West Midlands Combined Authority except:

a) Where we have your permission

b) Where required for the service we are providing you

c) Where we are required by law and by law enforcement agencies, juridical bodies, government, tax authorities or other regulatory bodies,

d) With third parties, external partners, and agencies assisting us in delivering our service to you.

e) With external partners to improve, and advance, the service we provide to you

Information will only be shared where it is necessary, and permitted under the Data Protection Act. Any information shared will be proportionate and limited only to what is necessary.

WMCA will ensure that the third party, external partner, or agency have sufficient systems and procedures in place to prevent the loss or misuse of personal information. Sharing will only take place under strict contractual agreements and/or sharing agreements.

Transferring information overseas

If you’re personal information is transferred outside the European Economic Area (EEA) for processing or storage purposes WMCA will ensure that safeguards are in place to protect it to the same standard we apply. We will ensure that any transfer only takes place if:

a) The European Commission has decided that the country or the organisation we are sharing your information with will protect your information adequately

b) The transfer has been authorised by the relevant data protection authority; and/or

c) We have entered into a contract with the organisation with which we are sharing (on terms approved by the European Commission), to ensure your information is adequately protected.

Communications about our service

We will contact you with information relevant to the service we are providing you. By a variety of means including via email, text message, post and/or telephone.
We may monitor or record calls, emails, text messages, or other communications in accordance with applicable laws.

Your rights

Under the Data Protection Act, you as the Data Subject, have the following rights. Each request will be reviewed and actioned wherever possible. However, you should be aware that, due to the reasons that WMCA may be processing your information we may not be able to comply with some requests due to legal obligations. You have the right to:

Rights

Description

Access – You have a right to get access to the personal information we hold about you

 

 

If you would like a copy of the personal information we hold about you please contact us at:

·        Email: Information.officer@wmca.org.uk

·        Telephone: Switchboard – 0121 200 2787; Main Contact Centre – 0345 303 67 60

·        Address: Data Protection Officer, 16 Summer Lane, Birmingham, B19 3SD

Rectification – You have a right to rectification of inaccurate personal information and to update incomplete personal information

If you believe that any of the information that we hold about you is inaccurate, you have a right to request that we restrict the processing of that information and to rectify the inaccurate personal information.

Please note that if you request us to restrict processing your information, we may have to suspend the services we provide to you

Erasure – You have a right to request that we delete your personal information.

You may request that we delete your personal information if you believe that:

·        we no longer need to process your information for the purposes for which  it was provided;

·        we have requested your permission to process your personal information and you wish to withdraw your consent; or

·        we are not using your information in a lawful manner.

Please note that if you request us to restrict processing your information,  we may have to suspend the services we provide to you

Restriction – You have a right to request us to restrict the processing of your personal information

You may request us to restrict processing your personal information if you believe that:

·        any of the information that we hold about you is inaccurate;

·        we no longer need to process your information for the purposes for  which it was provided, but you require the information to establish,  exercise or defend legal claims; or

·        we are not using your information in a lawful manner.

Please note that if you request us to restrict processing your information, we may have to suspend the services we provide to you.

Portability – You have a right  to data portability

Where we have requested your permission to process your personal information or you have provided us with information for the purposes of entering into a contract with us, you have a right to receive the personal information you provided to us in a portable format.

Objection – You have a right to object to the processing of your personal information.

You have a right to object to us processing your personal information (and to request us to restrict processing) unless we can demonstrate compelling and legitimate grounds for the processing, which may override  your own interests, or where we need to process your information to investigate and protect us or others from legal claims.

Please note that if you request us to restrict processing your information,  we may have to suspend the services we provide to you

Withdraw consent – You have  a right to withdraw your consent

Where we rely on your permission to process your personal information, you have a right to withdraw your consent at any time.

We will always make it clear where we need your permission to undertake specific processing activities

Lodge complaints – You have a right to lodge a complaint with the regulator.

If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal information, you can contact our Data Protection Officer who will investigate the matter.

We hope that we can address any concerns you may have, but if you remain unhappy you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).  For more information, visit:  ico.org.uk

 

Using personal information for marketing

We will only send you information about our services if you have asked us to do so or, based on the information we hold, and those services are considered of benefit to you. Your information may also be shared with other service providers who may contact you if they provide services to help you. You can opt out of this at any time by letting us know.

On our websites, you have the option to submit your email details to join our Marketing Database. We may ask you for additional details to help tailor your experience. These details are submitted and controlled by you at all times.

Details held for Marketing and Information Updates will be used for sending you relevant information. You have the ability to update your details at any time or unsubscribe from receiving our emails by clicking the preference centre or unsubscribe link placed at the bottom of our emails. Alternatively you may contact us at customerservices@twfm.org.uk to request removal.

We will hold your details on our Marketing Database until you unsubscribe from our Database. If you do not open emails for longer than 6 – 12 months we will remove your details automatically.

No details given for marketing purposes will be shared with third parties.

We may from time to time send you information from our partners if we feel it is relevant to you.

Competitions run in conjunction with our partners may have explicit terms and conditions around data sharing. These will be highlighted to you when you enter the competition.

Use of CCTV

We have installed CCTV systems and Body Worn Video in some of our locations for the purpose of staff and public safety and the prevention and detection of crime. Signs are prominently displayed notifying you that CCTV is in operation and providing you with details of who to contact for further information about them.

We will only disclose CCTV images to third parties for the purposes as stated above of public safety and the prevention and detection of crime. CCTV images will not be released to the media for entertainment purposes or placed on the internet.

You have the right to see CCTV images of yourself and if appropriate provided with a copy.

Prevention and detection of fraud

WMCA is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. Therefore, we may use any of the information you provide to us for the prevention and detection of fraud, or to comply with the law.

As well as conducting our own ‘data matching’ exercise, we may also share your information with other public bodies. These include (but are not limited to):

  • The Audit Commission
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • Other Local Authorities
  • Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs
  • The Police
  • Other bodies responsible for auditing or administration of public funds.

We may also share information with credit reference agencies, service providers or contractors and partner organisations, where the sharing of information is necessary, proportionate and lawful.

Data Matching

The Cabinet Office may require us to participate in the National Fraud Innovative data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see how far they match. Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found, it indicates that there is an inconsistency which may require further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.

The use of data by the Cabinet Office in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under its powers in Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under data protection legislation.

Further information on the Cabinet Officer’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information are provided on the Gov.uk website

How to contact us

For more information about either requesting access, to stop processing of your personal information or to raise a concern please contact us at:

  • Email: officer@wmca.org.uk
  • Telephone: Switchboard – 0121 200 2787; Main
  • Contact Centre – 0345 303 67 60
  • Address: Data Protection Officer 16 Summer Lane, Birmingham, B19 3SD

Complaints

If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal information, you can contact our Data Protection Officer who will investigate the matter. Contact details are provided above.

We hope that we can address any concerns you may have, but if you remain unhappy you can you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). For more information, visit: ico.org.uk

Equalities Information

We may use information such as your ethnic background, first language, gender, sexual orientation and age gap to gather statistics about the population of the area and the take up of our services. This is to help comply with our legal obligations and to plan the provision of services in the future.

Such analysis will not identify individuals or have impact on entitlement to services and facilities.

Changes to the way we use information

If we change the way we use your information, and we believe you may not reasonably expect such a change we will notify you and will allow a period of time to raise any objections before the change is made. However, please note that in some cases, if you do not agree to such changes it may not be possible for us to continue to operate your account and/or provide our service to you.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We keep our privacy notice under regular review. This privacy notice was last updated on November 2018.

 

Schedule A – Schedule of Purposes of Processing

We will only use and share your information where it is necessary for us to carry out our lawful activities. We want to ensure that you fully understand how your information may be used. We have described the legal purposes for which your information may be used in detail below:

A. Contractual necessity

We may process your information where it is necessary to enter into a contract with you for the provision of a services or to perform our obligations under that contract. This may include processing to:

a) assess and process applications for products or services;

b) provide and administer those products and services throughout your relationship with us, including opening, setting up, updating, or closing the service or product; collecting and issuing all necessary documentation; executing your instructions; processing transactions, resolving any queries or discrepancies and administering any changes.

Calls to our Service Centre and online helplines may be recorded and monitored for these purposes;

a) manage and maintain our relationship with you and for ongoing customer service. This may involve sharing your information with our partner organisations to improve the availability of our services;

b) communicate with you about the service or the products and services you receive from us, and

c) undertake any processing necessary to provide, deliver, or improve the service to you

B. Legal obligation

When we provide a product or service (and throughout your relationship with us), we are required by law to collect and process certain personal information about you. 

Please note that if you do not agree to provide us with the requested information, it may not be possible for us to continue to provide products and services to you.

C. Legitimate interests of West Midlands Combined Authority

We may process your information where it is in our legitimate interests do so as an organisation, and without prejudicing your interests or fundamental rights and freedoms.

a) We may process your information in the day-to-day running of West Midlands Combined Authority, to manage our services and financial affairs and to protect our customers, employees and property. It is in our interests to ensure that our processes and systems operate effectively and that we can continue operating. This may include processing your information to:

i. monitor, maintain and improve internal processes, information and data, technology and communications solutions and services;

ii. ensure business continuity and disaster recovery and responding to information technology and business incidents and emergencies;

iii. ensure network and information security, including monitoring authorised users’ access to our information technology for the purpose of preventing cyber-attacks, unauthorised use of our telecommunications systems and websites, prevention or detection of crime and protection of your personal data;

iv. provide assurance on our material risks and reporting to internal management and supervisory authorities on whether we are managing them effectively;

v. perform general, financial and regulatory accounting and reporting;

vi. protect our legal rights and interests;

vii. manage and monitor (for example through CCTV) for the purpose of crime prevention and prosecution of offenders, for identifying accidents and incidents and emergency situations and for internal training; and

viii. enable a sale, reorganisation, transfer or other transaction relating to West Midlands Combined Authority.

b) It is in our interest as a business to ensure that we provide you with the most appropriate products and services and that we continually develop and improve as an organisation. This may require processing your information to enable us to:

i. identify new business opportunities and to develop enquiries and leads into applications or proposals for new business and to develop our relationship with you;

ii. send you relevant marketing information which we believe may be of interest to you;

iii. understand our customers’ actions, behaviour, preferences, expectations, feedback and relationship history in order to improve our products and services, develop new products and services;

iv. monitor the performance and effectiveness of products and services;

v. assess the quality of our customer services and to provide staff training. Calls to our service centres and communications to our online helplines may be recorded and monitored for these purposes;

vi. perform analysis on customer complaints for the purposes of preventing errors and process failures and rectifying negative impacts on customers;

vii. combine your information with third-party data, such as economic data in order to understand customers’ needs better and improve our services.

viii. We may share information with third parties who help provide our services under strict contractual agreements protecting your personal data.

c) It is in our interest to manage our risk and to determine what products and services we can offer and the terms of those products and services.

D. Processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in West Midlands Combined Authority;

We may process your information where:

a) we are exercising an official authority set out in law

b) to perform a specific task the public interest that is set out in law

E.Consent

For some work, we undertake we may only process your information with your consent. If we are processing information with consent, we will ensure you are clearly informed of this, and you have the opportunity to provide clear unambiguous consent.

 

Cookies

This notice explains how we use cookies and similar technologies on our websites and mobile applications to help provide you with the best possible online experience

Your online privacy

You can visit our websites without telling us who you are or revealing any information about yourself.

West Midlands Combined Authority and our partners will treat any personal information about you securely, fairly and lawfully. We are committed to protecting your privacy.

When we ask you for personal information online it will only be in response to you actively applying for or using one of our services.

You can find full details of how we use customer information and our full Privacy Policy above.

Cookies - what are they?

A 'cookie' is a small text file that's stored on your computer, smartphone, tablet, or other device when you visit a website or use an app.

Some of the cookies are necessary for the functionality of the website and they are deleted from your device once you close your browser. These are known as session cookies. Others remain on your device until they expire or you delete them from your cache. These are known as persistent cookies and enable us to remember things about you as a returning visitor.

We use session and persistent cookies to distinguish you from other users. This information helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and it also allows us to improve our website accordingly.

We also use analytical cookies. They allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors and to see how visitors move around the website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works, for example, by ensuring that users are finding what they are looking for easily.

How to control and delete cookies

If you want to restrict or block the cookies we set, you can do this through your browser settings. The ‘help’ function within your browser should tell you how.

Cookies - how we use them

If you delete cookies relating to this website we will not remember things about you, including your cookie preferences, and you will be treated as a first-time visitor the next time you visit the site.

We use cookies (and other similar technologies) to:

  • Provide services that you request and to provide a secure online environment
  • Manage our relationship with you
  • Give you a better online experience and track website performance
  • Help us make our website more relevant to you

Essential site cookies

These are cookies that are essential for us to provide our service to you and to provide a secure online environment. Without cookies we are unable to provide some products or services that you might request. Other 'essential' cookies keep our website secure. Even if you say “No” to cookies on this website we'll continue to use these 'essential' cookies.

Essential cookies we use include:

ASP.NET_SessionId

This cookie is deleted when you close your browser. Session ID explanation

Performance Cookies: tracking website performance

These cookies collect aggregated information and are not used to identify you.

We use this type of cookie to understand and analyse how visitors use our online services and look for ways to improve them. For example, a cookie might tell us that lots of people give up on an application process at a particular step – so we can try to make that step easier to complete.

The analytics cookies we use include:

  • Google Analytics, which uses cookies to help us analyse how our visitors use the site. Find out more about how these cookies are used on the Google privacy site.
  • Adobe Analytics, to improve our websites and services. This service and the cookies it uses help us understand the popularity of our content and make better consumer experiences

Functionality cookies: giving you a better online experience

These cookies remember your preferences and tailor the website to provide enhanced features. Without these cookies, we cannot remember your choices or personalise your online experience.

We use this type of cookie to:

  • Make your online experience faster by remembering you between visits on your personal devices
  • Remembering relevant information as you browse from page to page to save you re-entering the same information repeatedly
  • Provide enhanced features, such as playing videos or allowing you to post a comment.

Third party cookies

Please note that during your visits to The West Midlands Combined Authority's websites you may notice some cookies that are not related to The West Midlands Combined Authority or The West Midlands Combined Authority contractors. When you visit a page with content embedded from, for example, YouTube, you may be presented with cookies from these websites. The West Midlands Combined Authority does not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the third party websites for more information about these.

The third-party companies we partner with include:

  • Twitter - we may use Twitter’s conversion tracking and tailored audiences products.  We and third parties collect user data through their application for purposes of conversion tracking and serving ads targeted to users’ interests. We do not select targeting criteria that could reveal sensitive information about users and don’t subject users to advertising that isn't relevant to our brand. Users can opt out of interest-based advertising through ‘Do Not Track’ functionality in your web browser or through such other methods that Twitter may specify here: https://support.twitter.com/articles/20170405
  • Orlo - We may use tracking associated with Orlo, a social media monitoring Dashboard. This allows us to monitor campaign effectiveness of social media click through and conversions on activities on our website. If you would like to disable tracking please visit Stop Tracking at https://orlo.tech/ 
  • Facebook - Facebook provide us with certain features and tools (e.g., pixels, SDKs and APIs) that have been added to our website to allow us to send data about actions that people take on our website ('Event Data') to Facebook to track conversions ('Conversion Tracking') and to create custom audiences of people who have visited our website ('Custom Audiences from your Website'). 

To read more about Terms For Conversion Tracking, Custom Audiences From Your Website, and Custom Audiences From Your Mobile App visit https://www.facebook.com/customaudiences/app/tos/

How to reject cookies

The West Midlands Combined Authority will not use cookies to collect personal identifiable information about you and we recommend that you allow the use of cookies. However, if you wish to restrict or block the cookies which are set on The West Midlands Combined Authority website, or indeed any other website, you can do this through your browser settings. The Help function within your browser should tell you how.

To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.

For more information about 'cookies' and how to reject them, please see the Interactive Advertising Bureau's website: http://www.allaboutcookies.org.

Questions regarding our  Privacy Policy should be addressed to the Data Protection Officer at The West Midlands Combined Authority, 16 Summer Lane, Birmingham B19 3SD.

 

 

Terms & Conditions

  1. West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is a partnership between seven metropolitan councils of the West Midlands.
  2. Use of West Midlands Combined Authority website is governed by these Terms and Conditions. Your use of this site constitutes acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.
  3. West Midlands Combined Authority may at any time revise these Terms and Conditions. It is up to the user to regularly review the Terms and Conditions in case there are any changes. Continued use of the WMCA website after a change has been made is to be treated as acceptance of that change by the user.
  4. Disclaimer - Whilst West Midlands Combined Authority tries hard to ensure that the website is functioning correctly and is as accurate possible, this may not always be achievable and the following disclaimer applies:
  5. a) The website is provided “as is” without any representation or endorsement made and without warranty of any kind whether express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of satisfactory quality, fitness for a particular purpose, compatibility, non-infringement, accuracy and security. West Midlands Combined Authority does not guarantee or represent the accuracy of content and/or facilities available or accessible via the website will always be accurate, complete or current or that access to the website will be uninterrupted
  6. b) West Midlands Combined Authority expressly disclaims all liability for any direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage occasioned from the use or inability to use the website, whether directly or indirectly resulting from inaccuracies, defects, viruses, errors – whether typographical or otherwise, omissions, out of date information or otherwise.
  7. c) Accessing the website and the downloading of material is solely at the user’s own risk. The user will be solely responsible for any resulting damage to software or computer systems and/or any resulting loss of data even if West Midlands Combined Authority has been advised of the possibility of such damage 5. Links
  8. a) The website may contain links to other websites over which West Midlands Combined Authority has no control. Such links are supplied solely for the convenience of users. West Midlands Combined Authority will not accept any liability for the contents or reliability of the linked websites and does not endorse the views expressed within them or the organisations or persons providing them in any way. West Midlands Combined Authority does not guarantee the operability of these links and has no control over the availability of the linked pages.
  9. b) Providers of other websites may place text-based links to pages on the West Midlands Combined Authority website without seeking prior permission. However such links must not open West Midlands Combined Authority pages into frames within another website. Pages from the West Midlands Combined Authority website must be loaded into the user’s entire browser window. The use of the West Midlands Combined Authority logo or the logos of any associated or subsidiary organisations must not be used for promotional or linking purposes unless prior approval in writing has been given. Please contact the ???? (jennings@dudley.gov.uk ) for further details on obtaining such approval.
  10. Jurisdiction - These Terms and Conditions will be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales. The courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction over disputes between a user and West Midlands Combined Authority arising out of the access or use of these websites. Omission by West Midlands Combined Authority to exercise any right under these terms and conditions will not constitute a waiver of such right unless expressly stated by West Midlands Combined Authority in writing. These Terms and Conditions, together with our privacy policy constitute the entire Agreement between West Midlands Combined Authority and you.
  11. Copyright - Unless expressly stated the copyright and other intellectual property rights (such as, design rights, trademarks, patents etc) in any material on the West Midlands Combined Authority website remains the property of West Midlands Combined Authority (or as the case may be another rightful owner). West Midlands Combined Authority owned material on the website including text and images, may not be printed, copied, reproduced, republished, downloaded, posted, displayed, modified, reused, broadcast or transmitted in any way, except for the user’s own personal non-commercial use. Permission for any other type of use must be obtained.

Environment

The world is facing many environmental challenges including climate change, resource depletion and pollution. As a consequence the Government has set targets to move the UK to a low carbon future and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We believe that we have a shared responsibility to support these global challenges, national aspirations and to help to create a sustainable future in our role as the region’s Combined Authority.

Our environmental strategy is based on the concept of sustainable development and continual improvement. It sets out our objectives and approach to minimising the carbon impact of WMCA operations and our commitment to working with partners to facilitate sustainable public transport growth.

We are in a perfect position to assist with the transformation change needed to strengthen and create opportunities in the region that will meet the needs and aspirations of local communities, our stakeholders and the needs of the environment. This means we are fully committed to action, including a commitment to sustainable travel by our staff, and supporting organisations across the region to implement Travel Plans.

See our Environmental Policy and Environmental Strategy 2014-19

Equalities

Our Equalities Vision

Our Equality and Diversity Vision is integral to our overall vision of improving the quality of life of everyone who lives and works in the West Midlands and is embedded in our values, strategic aims, policies and day to day activities.

We put equality and diversity at the heart of the business. We value the diversity of our customers, staff, suppliers, partners and all the people we work with and are committed to treating everyone fairly and achieving equal outcomes for all. 

We strive to creative a positive working environment where everyone is treated with dignity and respect and provide services and implement strategies that meet the diverse needs of people in the West Midlands. 

We will:

  • Work in a way which promotes equality and diversity and which does not discriminate against any of our staff, service users, partners and people living in the region.
  • Take into account and value individual and group differences and implement policies that recognise people’s different needs.
  • Challenge any instance of inequality and proactively address the different needs of our employees and people in the region.
  • Proactively engage and consult with people to understand the diverse society in which we operate, ensure our policies and services meet key needs and that there is public involvement and influence in decision making, planning, policy and service delivery
  • Continue to strive towards a culture that is diverse and inclusive that recognises the benefits and opportunities of having a diverse community of staff.
  • Strive to ensure that everyone can access our services, facilities and information
  • Ensure equalities and diversity are priorities across all parts of the organisation, including at senior level

See our Equality Scheme 2017-19 and Equality and Inclusion Review

 

Complaints Procedure

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) welcomes feedback regarding our work and the services we provide. We use this information to review how we do things and to identify where we can do things better. We work hard to put things right if a problem arises and have set out how we work to resolve any complaints we may receive in this Complaints Handling Procedure.


Section One: Who we are

The WMCA is made up of 18 Local Authorities and 3 Local Enterprise Partnerships working together to build a healthier, happier, better connected and more prosperous West Midlands. Led by the Mayor of the West Midlands, we are working with people, organisations and businesses to transform the region with a focus on housing, skills, transport, local industry and public sector reform. For more information regarding WMCA please visit our website 


Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) is the transport team within WMCA, striving to deliver a world-class integrated transport system which is clean, safe and affordable - connecting people and places within the West Midlands. For more information regarding TfWM please visit our website


Section Two: Purpose and Scope

This Complaints Handling Procedure explains how to make a complaint and what you can expect from us if you do.


This Procedure covers the full scope of WMCA’s activities and its Officers including the work of Transport for West Midlands.


The Mayor of the West Midlands and Members of WMCA Board must abide by a Code of Conduct which governs their behaviour and actions when carrying out their roles and duties as members of WMCA. If you have a complaint that this Code of Conduct has not been followed you should send your complaint directly to WMCA’s Monitoring Officer via the contact details in Section Seven. Any complaints received via this Complaints Handling Procedure that appear to fall under the Code of Conduct will be referred to the Monitoring Officer.


This Procedure does not cover the services provided by third parties for example public transport operators. Please see Section Six: Complaints Relating to Third Parties for further information.

 

Section Three: What is a complaint?

We aim to provide the best possible experience for people who use our services. We recognise that from time to time things can go wrong or that you may be unhappy about our work, products or services. If this happens you may wish to tell us about this by making a complaint.


Complaints are valuable feedback and an opportunity for us to put things right as well as learn how we can improve our services in the future.

 

Section Four: Our Aims

If you need to complain, we aim to ensure that:

  • Making a complaint is as easy as possible
  • We resolve informal issues quickly and through an informal approach when appropriate and when this can be achieved
  • We deal with your complaint quickly, fairly and when appropriate, confidentially
  • We tell you what is happening with your complaint and do everything we can to help you
  • We respond in the right way - for example, with an explanation, or an apology where we have got things wrong
  • We learn from the complaints that we receive and use them to improve our services


If you make a complaint, it will not affect your right to receive or use products or services provided by WMCA.

 

Section Five: What WMCA can investigate

The WMCA can investigate complaints relating to our work, the products and services that we deliver as well as our people. Please also see Section Two: Purpose and Scope and Section Six: Complaints Relating to Third Parties.


You must send us your complaint within 12 months of the date that the issue first occurred. We are unfortunately unable to investigate anything older than this. Complaints can be investigated most easily when reported quickly after an issue occurs. In the case of a complaint about services you have received from us via the telephone, we record and store telephone calls for a maximum of 40 days.


If your complaint relates to the handling of your personal information, your complaint will be considered in line with the arrangements set out in Section Ten: Complaints and your Personal Information.


To avoid disappointment and to save you time, before sending your complaint to WMCA please ensure that you are raising your complaint with the correct organisation. The WMCA has not replaced the role of Local Authorities which remain responsible for delivering the majority of public services within local communities. Your Local Authority is the organisation to which you pay your Council Tax.


Some complaints may need to be investigated under different procedures. If this applies to your complaint or we are unable to investigate it, we will contact you to explain why.

 

Section Six: Complaints relating to Third Parties

If you make a complaint which relates to a third party supplier, in some cases it may be possible to jointly investigate and provide you with a single response. This may involve sharing information about your complaint with the third party. Please see our Privacy Statement for further information on how we handle your personal data.


If your complaint is more suited for consideration by the third party under their own complaints procedure we will, with your consent, pass on the details directly to the third party.


If your complaint relates to a Training or Education Provider which receives funding through the Adult Education Budget from WMCA, you must make your complaint to the Provider directly in the first instance. The WMCA can only investigate this type of complaint when you have exhausted the Providers own Complaints Procedure, including any right of appeal. Please see additional information regarding Complaints about Adult Education here.

 

Section Seven: How to make a complaint

You can make a complaint by:

Email: customerservices@wmca.org.uk

Post: Customer Relations, 16 Summer Lane, Birmingham, B19 3SD

Phone: 0345 303 6760*


*Telephone lines are open from 0800 to 1800 Monday to Friday (except Wednesday 1000 to 1800) and from 0900 to 1300 on Saturdays. We are closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

To help us with our investigation please include:

  • Your name and contact details;
  • Details of what your complaint is together with any supporting documents;
  • Date, time and location (if applicable); and
  • As much other relevant information that you can provide


If you prefer, you can ask a friend or relative to speak or write to us for you. We will need your consent if you would like someone to act on your behalf. We are also able to offer a telephone interpreting service for non-English speakers on request.


If you have completed Stage One of our Complaints Procedure you can contact WMCA’s Monitoring Officer by:

Email: monitoringofficer@wmca.org.uk

Post: WMCA Monitoring Officer, 16 Summer Lane, Birmingham, B19 3SD

Phone: 0121 200 2787


Section Eight: Our Complaints Handling Process

The WMCA can consider your complaint at two formal stages although we aim to resolve any issues informally wherever possible. If at any stage your complaint needs more time than expected to investigate, we will let you know. Our Complaints Handling Process is explained below.


Raise your issue informally

You can raise your issue informally with our Customer Relations Team who will do their best to put things right without you needing to do anything. We aim to resolve issues brought to our attention within 10 working days, however, some investigations may take longer. Customer Relations will keep you informed of progress until your issue is resolved.


Stage 1 - Complaint
If you have spoken to our Customer Relations Team and are unhappy with the response you can complain to our Customer Relations Manager. Please remember to include all of the relevant information and send this to us via the contact details in Section Seven.


Stage 1 - Response
Our Customer Relations Manager will investigate your complaint and respond to you directly within 10 working days of receiving it. If it is not possible to resolve your complaint within this time the Customer Relations Manager will let you know.


Stage 2 - Complaint

If you have received a response to your complaint from our Customer Relations Manager and you are unhappy with the outcome, you may ask for your complaint and the response to be reviewed by WMCA’s Monitoring Officer. You can do this by submitting your request for your complaint to be reviewed within 14 days of receiving the Stage 1 Response. You can submit your request in writing, via post or email to our Monitoring Officer via the contact details in Section Seven.

 

Stage 2 - Response
WMCA’s Monitoring Officer will appoint an Investigating Officer who has not been involved in your original complaint. The Investigating Officer will investigate your complaint and provide a final response to you directly within 20 working days of receiving it. If it is not possible to resolve your complaint within this time the Investigating Officer will let you know.


Independent Review

You can contact the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman at any time about your complaint via the contact details in Section Nine. However, the Ombudsman usually gives WMCA the opportunity to investigate and respond first.


If you are unable to submit your complaint in writing to us, we can arrange to take details of your complaint over the telephone via the contact number in Section Seven.


Section Nine: What happens if you are still not happy?

You can contact the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman at any time about your complaint. However, the Ombudsman usually gives WMCA the opportunity to investigate and respond first.


Website: www.lgo.org.uk

Post: Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, PO Box 4771, Coventry, CV4 0EH

Text: ‘call back’ to 0762 481 1595 Phone: 0300 061 0614*

 

Section Ten: Complaints and your Personal Information

If you have a query, concern or complaint about the way we are handling your personal information, or about your request for information, please contact our Data Protection Officer at information.officer@wmca.org.uk


We are required to look into complaints about the handling of personal information, and the release of information we hold in line with the requirements of the Information Commissioner’s Office. This type of complaint will not be considered under this procedure.


Section Eleven: Unreasonably Persistent or Vexatious Customer

In a small number of cases it is possible that a complaint may be considered unreasonably persistent and or vexatious in nature. This type of complaint may be managed under a separate Policy which is available upon request. If WMCA applies this Policy to you and your complaint, we will write to you to explain the reasons for the decision.

 

Request a copy

To request a copy of this document in a format better suited to your needs please contact us on 0345 303 6760.

Or you can download a copy of this as a PDF here.

Petitions Protocol

Section One: Introduction

West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is made up of 18 Local Authorities and three Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) working together to build a healthier, happier, better connected and more prosperous West Midlands. Led by the Mayor of the West Midlands, we are working with people, organisations and businesses to transform the region with a focus on housing, skills, transport, local industry and public sector reform. For more information regarding WMCA please visit our website.

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) is the transport team within WMCA, striving to deliver a world-class integrated transport system which is clean, safe and affordable - connecting people and places within the West Midlands. For more information regarding TfWM please visit our website.


Section Two: What is a petition?

A petition is a formal written appeal that is typically signed by many people requesting a particular course of action. Petitions received by WMCA will be managed in line with this Protocol.


Section Three: Purpose and Scope

WMCA is committed to engaging with citizens, getting closer to communities and improving services. We welcome petitions as one way in which people can let us know their concerns or ideas. Petitions can be used to communicate an objection, service complaint or request on behalf of a group of people. They can deliver a positive change. For example, residents or service users may request new facilities and in doing so become more involved in securing benefits for their communities.

The purpose of WMCA’s Petitions Protocol is to set out the agreed approach for investigating a petition. It covers the complete work of WMCA including TfWM. Petitions about products and services WMCA provides will be considered in line with this Petitions Protocol unless otherwise stated. This may include services provided by third parties on our behalf.

Submitting a petition, will not affect an individual’s right to receive or use products or services provided by WMCA.


Section Four: What to include in a petition

For the purpose of correspondence relating to a petition, WMCA will communicate with the Lead Petitioner. The Lead Petitioner is usually the person that sends the petition to WMCA, but if this is unknown, the Lead Petitioner will be taken to be the first signatory on the petition document itself.

To help WMCA with the investigation we ask the Lead Petitioner to include:

  • Name and contact details including postal address and/or email address; and
  • Any supporting information or documentation

 

Section Five: What WMCA can consider

WMCA can investigate petitions relating to our work and the products and services that we deliver. Before sending a petition to WMCA we ask the Lead Petitioner to check they are raising their petition with the correct organisation. WMCA has not replaced the role of Local Authorities which remain responsible for delivering the majority of public services within local communities. The Local Authority is the organisation to which citizens pay their Council Tax. Bus, Metro and rail services are delivered by private operators in the West Midlands.

Petitions will be considered where the:

  • Responsibility falls within WMCA’s remit (see Appendix A);
  • Lead Petitioner and signatories live, work or study within the West Midlands;
  • Relevant information is provided, as outlined in Section Four of this Protocol; and
  • Petition clearly states the objective/reason(s) for the petition and the action that is requested by WMCA.

Petitions will not be considered where:

  • They are submitted in response to a specific consultation exercise in which case they will be considered as part of the consultation activity;
  • The subject has already been considered by WMCA within the previous 12 months (with the exception of any material changes which may have affected a different outcome to the original petition);
  • They are vexatious, abusive or otherwise inappropriate;

If you are not sure whether your petition should come to WMCA, please refer to the contact details in Section Seven.

 

Section Six: Petitions relating to Third Parties

If a petition relates to a third party, in some cases it may be possible for WMCA to work with the third party to jointly investigate it. This may involve sharing information about the petition, petitioners and Lead Petitioner with the third party supplier. Please see our Privacy Statement for further information on how we handle your personal data.

If a petition is more suited for consideration by the third party under their own procedure, WMCA will pass on the details directly to the third party and let the Lead Petitioner know we have done this.

 

Section Seven: How to submit a petition

A petition can be submitted by:

Email: customerservices@wmca.org.uk

Post: Customer Relations, 16 Summer Lane, Birmingham, B19 3SD

If a Lead Petitioner needs to talk to us about their petition they can contact us by:

Phone: 0345 303 6760*

*Telephone lines are open from 0800 to 1800 Monday to Friday (except Wednesday 1000 to 1800) and from 0900 to 1300 on Saturdays. We are closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

 

Section Eight: Our Petitions Process

Our Petitions Process is explained below. 

Step 1 We will acknowledge receipt of a petition by writing to the Lead Petitioner. An investigation will be carried out which will involve collecting information, exploring options available and in some cases, a site visit. If we need to discuss the petition we will contact the Lead Petitioner.
Step 2 The petition and the findings of the investigation will be considered by a Petitions Panel. The panel will be formed of officers with appropriate specialist knowledge and include a nominated Head of Service and/or Director. The Petitions Panel will make a decision based on the facts presented from the petition itself and the investigation that was carried out. 
Step 3 If a petition has 250 or more signatories, the Petitions Panel will recommend its decision for approval by the appropriate Committee of elected Members.*
We will let the Lead Petitioner know the time and date of the public meeting at which the petition will be considered. The Lead Petitioner may attend this meeting and speak about the petition. Only the Lead Petitioner will be permitted to address the committee and will be required to confirm their attendance in advance of the meeting.

* WMCA’s Monitoring Officer will determine the appropriate Committee to formally consider the recommendations of WMCA’s Petitions Panel.

 

Section Nine: Outcome

For petitions with less than 250 signatories, WMCA will respond to the Lead Petitioner directly within 30 calendar days of receiving it.

For petitions with more than 250 signatories, WMCA will respond to the Lead Petitioner directly within 60 calendar days of receiving it.

If at any stage the petition needs more time than expected to investigate, we will contact the Lead Petitioner to let them know.

There is no formal right of appeal. If a Lead Petitioner is unhappy with the outcome or the way in which WMCA has handled their petition they can refer to our Complaints Handling Procedure. For more information regarding WMCA’s Complaints Handling Procedure please visit our website.

 

Request a copy

To request a copy of this document in a format better suited to your needs please contact us on 0345 303 6760*

Or you can download a copy of this as a PDF here.

 

Whistleblowing and Fraud

People who wish report whistleblowing or fraud with the option of remaining anonymous can do so on this page. Please fill in the form below. See our Whistleblowing Policy here and our Anti-Fraud Policy here.

Modern Slavery Policy

Modern slavery is a crime and a violation of fundamental human rights. It takes various forms such as slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking, all of which have in common the deprivation of a person’s liberty by another in order to exploit them for personal or commercial gain.

As a public sector organisation, West Midlands Combined Authority recognises that we have a corporate responsibility to take a robust approach to slavery and human trafficking. We have a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery and we are committed to acting ethically and with integrity and transparency in all our business dealings and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to safeguard against any form of modern slavery taking place anywhere within our own business or supply chains.

We will:

  • Release a Modern Slavery Statement each financial year, in compliance with Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. This statement will be made publicly available on our website and intranet. Regular reviews of the policy will be conducted to ensure it adheres to regulatory and legislative requirements.
  • Acknowledge our responsibility as a ‘First Responder’ under Section 52 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, to report all instances when there are reasonable grounds to believe a person may be a victim of modern slavery or human trafficking to the Home Office.
  • Safeguarding will continue to remain a mandatory e-learning course for all new starters within the business alongside the compulsory reading of this policy, with additional training being provided as necessary. Any amendments/updates added to this policy will be communicated to all staff.
  • We will provide a working environment that thoroughly encourages all its employees, customers and other business partners to speak out if they are aware of, or suspect, any wrongdoing or misconduct within the organisation. This includes any circumstances which may give rise to an enhanced risk of slavery or human trafficking. The CA will support anyone who raises a genuine concern in good faith under this policy, even if they turn out to be mistaken. An employee will not suffer any detrimental treatment as a result of reporting, in good faith, a suspicion that modern slavery is taking place in any part of the organisation or our supply chain.

See our full Modern Slavery Policy and Modern Slavery Financial Statement for 2020/21.